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Longest race of my life: three weeks to Ironman; visualization

Swimmers

Competitors start the swim portion of the 2015 Superfrog 70.3. This is one part of the race that Airman 1st Class Clayton A. Wear visualizes in preparation for the 2017 Superfrog 70.3 (Picture from Ironman.com)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. --

If you have been following this series, then you would know that three weeks from this Sunday I will be competing in the Ironman 70.3 Superfrog. Last week I wrote about how I fell of my bicycle from a poor technique that I developed while visualizing my race on the stationary bicycle.

Outside of the fall, visualization has been the foundation of my training.

Seventeen weeks into my training for this race, I can earnestly admit that I am burnt out. Every day is a struggle to work out, knowing that I have at the very least an hour of cardio to do. For this reason, I visualize my workouts the night before.

Not only does it help me start each workout, but I am a lot more successful in my training.

If you saw the photo attached to my last article you may have noticed the investment that was sitting on my wrist. Because my watch tracks my heart rate and pace among many other things, I am aware of the less quantitative benefits, like visualization.

Charts
Visualization
Charts Longest race of my life: three weeks to Ironman; visualization
Visualization

The workouts I visualize tend to have a faster pace, lack of a burnout, and a lower heart rate. Attached in the article are two statistical  graphs depicting my heart rate and pace. To the right are the statistics from a 9-mile run from last week that I visualized the night before.

Chart
A similar run to the other but without visualization beforehand.
Chart Longest race of my life: three weeks to Ironman; visualization
A similar run to the other but without visualization beforehand.

To the left are the statistics from another 9-mile run two weeks ago that I didn’t visualize the night before. Take notice my pace and heart rate.

Both of those runs were on back-to-back Thursdays. I had the same diet, weather, and workload leading into those days, but clearly the first workout was better because I visualized it.

Visualization has been one of the most valuable tools I have learned about from my training.

Because I have seen quantifiable results, the last few weeks of this training cycle I will continue to visualize fighting fatigue, hydrating, my pace, and the finish line. Three more weeks!

 

 

 

Editor’s note: This is an on-going 10 week series. You can visit www.vandenberg.af.mil and the 30th Space Wing Facebook page every Friday for a new feature.